In what looks like a welcome move, Bar Council Of India recently announced that it is going to pay Rs. 5000 to fresh/apprentice advocates for a period of 5 years as a basic allowance for them to kickstart their career.
Believe it or not, but law as a profession has heavy nepotism in the country. Especially, the field of litigation. In such an environment, it gets really difficult for fresh advocates to establish their practice.
Keeping this in mind, a meeting was held between Members of BCI, Chairmen/Vice Chairmen of different State Bar Councils and heads of different HC Bar Associations in New Delhi.
After a few rounds of discussion, it was finally announced that fresh bar qualified advocates will receive this stipend as an aid for their practice. The plan is to link this scheme to the already existing Legal Services Act of 1987.
The Legal Services Act provide for provisions of legal discourse for under privileged people. Under the new provision for stipend, the fresh advocates who will accept this stipend will also have to provide legal help to the under privileged class of people.
In my opinion, it is definitely a welcome step aimed towards bridging the gap between people who have it all and people who are just starting out in the legal industry. However, the regulation of this money is going to be quite a task.
Every year thousands of students graduate from law schools in India and almost 3/4th of them sit for their bar examination the very same year of graduation. In such a case, a proper regulatory system for distribution of such money is needed.
Besides, the decision of providing new advocates with stipend will need amendments in the already existing legal services legislation i.e. the Legal Services Act, 1987.
Another point of consideration is, is 5000 INR renumeration enough for an advocate who is just starting out in this field? Legal paperwork and representation in court involves a lot of money and I don’t think rupees 5000 stipend is good enough to reimburse that amount.
So even though, the Bar Council of India has announced the stipend scheme keeping in mind the situation of fresh advocates in the country, on a personal level as a budding lawyer myself, I feel this step doesn’t serve the purpose!
What do you think about the BCI’s announcement? Let us know in the comments below.
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